AP0015_Alan Pardew_Newcastle_United_NUFCWho Are They?

Anzhi are from a part of Russia called Dagestan, a ‘federal republic’ in the South between Naboo and Tattooine. The club itself is just over 20 years old and began a second spell in the Russian Premier League in 2010, shortly before being given as a gift to local billionaire Suleyman Kerimov in return for a substantial investment in the team and club infrastructure. It sounds too good to be true but things in the ‘federal republic’ are never without a dark side.

In May of 2011, Anzhi beat Lokomotiv Moscow 2-1 in a game reported to be rigged, leading to the Lokomotiv boss Yuri Krasnozhan being sacked. The Russian Football Union refused to investigate the case, instead giving Krasnozhan a job as manager of quickly formed national team Russia-2. Within a few months Krasnozhan was the new manager of Anzhi and within another few months Russia-2 had been disbanded. Krasnozhan was Anzhi manager for two months before he was sacked, the team not having played a game under him. Suspicious? Not at all, not if they know where I live.

Who manages them:

At the time of this ‘absolutely no scandal at all’ Guus Hiddink was ruining his reputation as a national team manager who could do no wrong. After successfully managing Holland, South Korea, Australia and Russia, who he guided to a Euro 2008 semi final place, Hiddink had failed to secure the Turkey national side a place in Euro 2012 and was approached to take over at Anzhi. In the last 12 months he has continued their development and they are currently second in the Russian Premier League at the half way point.

Apart from having a comedy Dutch accent only bettered by Shteve McClaren, Guush is best known for being regarded as one of the best coaches in the world though it’s worth pointing out at this stage that despite his brilliant record as a national coach, as a club manager his only successes have come at PSV where he won 6 Dutch titles, 4 Dutch cups and a European cup in two different spells. In-between, he won nowt at Fenerbahce, Valencia, Real Madrid and Real Betis.

We know him in England for winning the FA Cup at Chelsea in 2009 but that hardly puts him up there with Mourinho and Guardiola, unless Avram Grant and Roberto Di Matteo are up there too. He is a character though, he once piled into the Mestalla crowd while boss of Valencia to take down an offensive racist banner put up by the home fans. If he carries that crusade on in Russia he’ll be so busy in the crowd he’ll never be able to watch a match.

Who have we seen before:

Samuel Eto’o played for Mallorca when we knocked them out of this competition in 2004 but earns about 200K a week more now and Yuri Zhirkov and Lassana Diarra both played here for Chelsea. Diarra said that it was Eto’o who had persuaded him to join Anzhi from Real Madrid and not the size of the wages on offer.  “He’s like a brother to me,” said Lass, “why can’t we succeed together?” That’s also what Anakin Skywalker said about Obi-Wan Kenobi in Revenge of The Sith.

Layout 1A Special mention for: 

Will.i.an. He’s probably not going to play today and that will be a shame for those who wanted to see the former Black Eyed Peas singer after his shock winter transfer.  Never fear though you Black Eyed Peas fans, rumours are that Nile Ranger is taking up Will.i.an’s place in the band after the conclusion of his very own ‘Where Is The Love’ 2012 tour of Newcastle City Centre in his XR3.

Are we going to win:

Whatever happens let’s hope that it is a million times more exciting and a whole lot warmer than the first leg. Hiddink probably fancies his chances of getting the goals he needs at SJP and the Anzhi players obviously didn’t fancy that ice covered artificial pitch in Moscow, the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the old Walker Lightfoot Centre 7-a-side pitches were removed.  Sing the lads to victory tonight, they’ll need our help. You never know, if we get through to the quarter finals, we might be able to go to the away leg this time.

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13 comments
Timptoon
Timptoon

There's none of them I'd shed a tear for if they left but I would still like to see how a few of them manage with good coaching/management and in a stronger squad. Cabella, Abeid, Marveaux and Vuckic will have successful careers somewhere so why not with us. On the other hand, Tiote, Anita, Saylor, Colo, Williamson, Obertan, Gouffran and Sammy have had plenty of chances to impress and rarely reached the standard. 

1957
1957

With a few exceptions you can't really make this sort of judgement on what they could achieve. Remember they have spent half a season coached by a long ball merchant without a target man and the other half by the village idiot.

I suspect by the time Carver's record breaking run started a lot of players didn't listen to him. Not a great attitude from players I agree, but a damning indictment on his positive motivational skills, let's face it they must have been baffled when they read his views in the newspaper, in January they are good players, in April they are not Premier League standard.

Some are not good enough but most have some talent, it just wasn't utilised correctly by Charnley's puppy

Paul Patterson
Paul Patterson

Er Cheick Tiote? Siem De Jong? Moussa Sissoko?

Two haven't didn't kick a ball for six months at a time and Sissoko downed tools (along with a few others) for another seemingly never ending spell . .

Andgeo
Andgeo

Good topic of discussion but Williamson should be on a list all on his own!

GToon
GToon

You are about right with most but would like to see a decent manager give the players a decent chance first, not just playing time but coached properly too. Cabella, Abeid and Anita would do a lot better with a decent coach and playing style.

truemagpie
truemagpie

i think Mehdi Abeid still has a future .. may turn out to be another Fraser Forster 

Billy Goat
Billy Goat

Couldn't argue with your selections Dale I think you are spot on.

mentalman
mentalman

Abeid has been our best midfielder when he has played had Carver played him instead of Ryan Taylor we probably wouldn't have been playing for our survival in the last match.

Anita can cut it when played in the right system

Marveaux and vuckic haven't been given an opportunity to show what they can do

Again cabella will come good played in the right system

As for armstrong I've seen nothing that shows he's good enough for the epl, he's going to need a few seasons at a lower level before you can decide whether to keep him or not.

Haidara Is another one who hasn't really shown much he's weak in defence and isn't much better going forward

Steve1221
Steve1221

Abeid put in a couple of shocking performances before being dropped.

crediblejustin736
crediblejustin736

You mean falling over against man utd? Every great player has slipped before. John terry, Steven Gerrard

Steve1221
Steve1221

No I mean being atrocious for 90 minutes against Man U

Basileus
Basileus

Siem DeJong ? Has he kicked a ball for us ?